Reviewers applaud poet Hutchinson’s latest work

By: Kathy Hovis,  A&S Communications
December 7, 2016

Poet Ishion Hutchinson, assistant professor of English, has received several recent accolades in the press for his second book of poetry, House of Lords and Commons.

“Hutchinson’s lines listen to themselves, finding the next phrase, and then the next, implicit in what’s already been written down,” writes Dan Chiasson in this New Yorker piece. “His sound effects are exquisite: the clusters of consonants (hard “c”s, then “b”s and “p”s) and the vowels so open you could fall into them, the magisterial cresting syntax, the brilliant coupling of unlike words (“iceberg-Golgotha”).”

NPR poetry critic Tess Taylor said Hutchinson's book is "ragged and fiercely beautiful."

And this New York Times piece calls him “Jamaica’s best new poet.”

“Soaked in the intelligence of cities and towns where nature seems the dominating grace, these poems try to negotiate a treaty between Jamaica and the foreign world for which the poet abandoned it,” says William Logan in the Times review. “In memories of the near riot of sugar-cane cutters stiffed of their salaries or the mysterious classroom hierarchies of primary school in St. Thomas Parish, the country Hutchinson left behind has rarely been so vividly rendered.”

Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. His poetry collection, Far District: Poems (2010), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. Other honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner Journal and the Academy of American Poets’ Larry Levis Prize.  His works have appeared in several anthologies and journals such as Poetry, The Common, Poetry Review (UK), Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Narrative, Granta, The Huffington Post and New Letters. He is a contributing editor to the literary journal, Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art.

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